Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Is "taking a break" really a temporary permanent separation?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) March 23rd, 2011

I always assumed a “break” was the end. It was just the way of easing into it without having to say “break-up.” Recently, I heard someone talking about having her boy friend take a break so he could work on his issues, and then come back, if successful, to be more of an equal partner in the relationship.

Have you ever “taken a break” and then gotten back together and had it stay together? Or has it always ended in a break up, even if you got back together a few times before the break became permanent?

Do you think people sincerely believe it’s a temporary thing, or is it a way from hiding the fact that it really is permanent?

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19 Answers

6rant6's avatar

I’ve done it an reunited and stayed. I know lot’s of other people who have.

For that matter, I know a lot of people who’ve called it quits and then gotten back together.

“Taking a break,” often, I think, is just an acknowledgment that in the heat of togetherness it’s hard to see things clearly. That separation let’s you weigh the good and bad without such undue emphasis on the most recent.

It also gives you time to figure out what’s really important and to formulate a plan without having to respond reflexively to day-to-day stuff.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Either or.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When it comes to relationships, it seems to be intent vs. effect. I cannot think of anyone that ended up back with their partner after giving it a bit of distance. .

the100thmonkey's avatar

Distance often provides clarity.

‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is the thinking, I suppose. I’ve never been in a “take a break and work on our own personal issues” situation in relationship and gone back into it. Nor, indeed has my then-partner. This is probably because I’m an arsehole and not very many people can tolerate me. I embrace this.

To be honest, I, personally, don’t get the whole “working on my own issues” aspect of such talk. Oftentimes, I think it’s code for “I don’t really like you enough to be decent to you”.

bolwerk's avatar

It could be permanent. And it’s not good to depend so much on relationships. You should have a supportive social network outside of your sexual/romantic relationship, and you’ll be much happier.

nir17's avatar

Umm… I think it’s just a way of saying you don’t think you want to be in the relationship. I’ve asked for this before… and I did it because I was not sure if I wanted to be with him, but at the same time, I wanted the security of knowing that he would still be around if I totally changed my mind. Then again, I’m not exactly an expert on relationships. Maybe some people can do it? Although I’ve never talked to anyone who actually got back together after ‘a break’.

6rant6's avatar

@nir17 People use benign language to cover a multitude of intentions, it’s true. Some people say, “I’m too tired too come over tonight” when what they mean is “I’m hooking up with my ex tonight.”

Just because some jackasses say it and mean something worse, that doesn’t mean everyone is that way. I think generally, when people SAY they want to get to bed early it just means they want to catch up on email.

tedd's avatar

I have never seen a “break” work where the couple ends up back together. I have been involved in 2–3 “breaks” in my life, and all ended with separation.

novemberrain's avatar

Personally i say that if you’re in a relationship where a break is required, you shouldn’t be in that relationship. If one person needs to take a break to sort out their own issues, the two should help each other. That’s a true relationship.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@novemberrain Ah…it could also depend on how long two people have been together. If they’ve been together for 20 years, taking a break might be a good thing.

Stefaniebby's avatar

Currently my boyfriend and I are “taking a break”. We’re doing to to bring back that spark we had when we started dating a year ago. It’s working great! However we do still live and sleep together. But it’s really been working for the both of us. We don’t have any intention of not getting back together at the end though. To clarify it better I think of it as we’re taking a break from being affectionate, you know, from acting like a couple. We’re being friends. Nothing more, and it makes me want him more then ever.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve never proposed a “break” because to me that’s mostly a weak ass way of telling someone you like them but not enough to commit further and you somehow think you’re letting them down easier.

josie's avatar

It is a way of denying the fact that it is over. These days, people are becoming skillful at denying the facts of reality.

nir17's avatar

@6rant6 I never said that everyone was like that…. I said from my experience… Which happens to be with college age kids, who often went away to school with relationships and figured out they could not survive long distance… but lacked the maturity and world experience to know when to solidly cut ties.

keobooks's avatar

I knew a woman who took a year or two break from her boyfriend and then ended up marrying him. She wanted that break because she was so young and had never dated anyone else. She wanted to make sure that she actually loved him and not just being in a relationship.

She went out on dates, but never got serious. I think he dated other people too.

6rant6's avatar

@nir17 My personal experience: I went to one college she to another. Freshman year, she met someone else. I was willing to stay “just” friends. Her new boyfriend didn’t work out. We got back together. She transferred to my college. After graduation we got married and stayed that way for almost 20 years.

So take that as a warning.

tedd's avatar

@6rant6 hahaha….. a warning?

nir17's avatar

@6rant6 Warning about what?

I went to a different college than my ex. The long distance relationship didn’t work. I would never transfer for a guy. What’s to be warned about?

6rant6's avatar

Just saying… you could end up married.

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